Ultimate freedom on 'a self-sufficient apartment on the water'

Sailing was instilled in Sjoerd at an early age. As a child and teenager, he made many boat trips with his father, who was a professional skipper. He has never lost his love for sailing. This led him and his wife Renée to buy a very fully equipped Bendie 13.70 in 2020. After 3.5 years of memorable moments, it is now with pain in their hearts that they say goodbye to this beautiful, self-sufficient yacht.

Sjoerd (73) still remembers his childhood on the water clearly. He spent many beautiful hours with his father on tugboats. Sjoerd himself was also regularly at the helm, so that his father could rest for a while. After his childhood, the moments on the water became a lot scarcer. He and Renée (68) regularly rented a yacht to go on a boating holiday. But still, they were missing something.

Living on a ship

"When I retired, my wife came up with the idea of living on a ship for a few more years," Sjoerd explains. "We had the desire to experience what that's like, while our age still allowed it. Many people wait with such a step until the moment that it is actually no longer possible. We wanted to get ahead of that. That's why we sold our house to buy a ship." Of course, it was important that they could stay comfortably on it in both summer and winter. A yacht that is 'hardy' and completely self-sufficient. That's what they found in De Vrijheid. "We have been looking for this for a long time," Renée explains. "This is almost like an apartment on the water. There aren't many of those, we found out."

Totally complete

This seaworthy Bendie 13.70 was custom built in 2010 for a Belgian family. He didn't cut corners on anything. This yacht had to be totally complete. For example, the Vrijheid has central heating (on diesel), a spacious shower room, two cabins (both with a freestanding double bed) and a large aft deck. The 170 hp diesel engine is also an important advantage. "If you sail against the current on the IJssel, you roar right over it," Sjoerd says with a laugh.

Self-sufficient yacht

Furthermore, the steel ship with cherry wood panelling - which with its round shapes is built for rough weather - is completely self-sufficient. Except for the water supply and the addition of diesel oil. "We can lie outside for weeks," says Renée. "Because of the generator, the ship has its own power."

The current owners have also had a lot of preventive renewals themselves. "For example, the Victron inverter has been replaced, the generator has been fitted with new parts and the ship has been given a new GPS and AIS," says Sjoerd. "We also had a new tent with heating made on the aft deck. As a result, you can still sit outside in the middle of winter."

Renée adds: "Furthermore, the ship is fully equipped. A washer-dryer combination, dishwasher, combination microwave, refrigerator, TV, Digitenne and satellite dish; it's all there. In terms of maintenance, this yacht is ready for the rest of the year. It's a matter of turning the key and sailing away. There's even enough diesel left in the tank."

Family circumstances

Due to family circumstances, Sjoerd and Renée now choose to sell the ship. "We had a great time at De Vrijheid, which we wouldn't have missed for the world," they emphasize. "We sailed through a large part of the Netherlands and enjoyed the peace and freedom. For us, it is now time for normal life again. We are certainly not getting rid of this ship because we don't like it. We just can't be on the road all the time anymore. We hope other people will have as many adventures with it as we did."

Find out more about the Vrijheid »

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